2012 CFN All-Sophomore Team
USC WR Marqise Lee
USC WR Marqise Lee
Posted Dec 10, 2012

Who were the best second-year players in college football this season?

2012 All-Sophomore Team


- CFN Sophomore All-America Teams 2011 | 2010 | 2009 
- 2012 CFN Freshman All-America Offense | Defense & Special Teams  

Write-ups By Richard Cirminiello  

- 2012 CFN Sophomore All-America Defense & Special Teams   

Offensive Sophomore of the Year:
WR Marqise Lee, USC

First Team

QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State
While there's progress to be made fundamentally, especially as a passer, Miller took a quantum leap in his second year in Columbus and first with head coach Urban Meyer. He was also the quarterback of one of the country's two undefeated teams, rushing for 1,273 yards and 13 touchdowns, and going 148-of-254 for 2,039 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. If the elusive Miller evolves between now and next September the way he did since the end of 2011, the sky is the limit for the quarterback and the offensive talent that surrounds him.

RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
In the long and rich tradition of Carolina running backs, Bernard is on the verge of becoming one of the best ever … assuming he doesn't bolt for the NFL after his second season. Versatile and electrifying, he leads the ACC with 1,228 yards on the ground, while also catching 47 passes for 490 yards. Oh, and his 19 scores consisted of a dozen on the ground, five as a receiver and two on punt returns, the second one sinking rival NC State on Oct. 27. Durability has been an issue, but when Bernard is at full strength, he's as dangerous as any back in America.

RB Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona
With the hiring of Rich Rodriguez, someone in the backfield was going to benefit from a read-option system that accentuates the ground game. That someone was Carey, the former blue-chip recruit of Mike Stoops. The nation's leading rusher has gone for 1,757 yards and 20 scores, adding 33 receptions as an outlet for QB Matt Scott. He peaked on Nov. 10, snapping off a Pac-12-record 366 yards and five touchdowns in a rout of Colorado. Heck, he also went for a 132 against a top-flight Stanford run D. Carey operates with impeccable vision, a key reason why no one in the country has more runs of at least 20 yards.

WR Marqise Lee, USC
Atypical of a wide receiver, Lee has gotten serious recognition as the nation's premier player of 2012 … regardless of position. The nation's most polished wideout—and the Pac-12's Offensive Player of the Year—has caught 112 passes for 1,680 yards and 14 touchdowns. An NFL-ready weapon just two years removed from high school, he has the requisite speed, hops and silky-smooth pass-catching skills to do down as one of the best to ever run routes at Troy. The good news for Trojans fans is that Lee is obligated to play one more year of college ball in 2013 before turning pro.

WR Allen Robinson, Penn State
The Nittany Lions were in the market for a go-to receiver once Justin Brown transferred to Oklahoma. Robinson answered the call. The second-year pass-catcher plays the game with all of the athleticism and explosiveness of a former basketball star, leaping high into the air, using great body control and making the acrobatic grabs look routine. After catching three balls as a rookie, the all-leaguer erupted for a Big Ten-best 77 receptions, 1,018 yards and 11 touchdowns. At 6-3 and 200 pounds, he has the kind of frame that makes it tough for opposing defensive backs to contain.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
Forget just sophomores. Seferian-Jenkins plays the game as if he plans to be college football's best tight end … period. At 6-6 and 260 pounds, he's a few unhealthy meals away from being a left tackle, yet is uncommonly nimble and agile for such a large player. The Mackey Award finalist is tough to defend on jump balls and even tougher when he boxes out linebackers and defensive backs. A model of versatility, who dabbled at defensive end this fall and moonlights on Lorenzo Romar's hoops team, Seferian-Jenkins has hauled in 63 passes for 791 yards and six touchdowns.

OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
The youngest member of the nation's best O-line has done a nice job of fitting in this season. Kouandjio is the five-star, can't-miss recruit from 2011 whose development allowed All-American Barrett Jones to slide inside this year to play center. While still somewhat raw, he's grown exponentially as a pocket protector since the beginning of the year, aided by the four upperclassmen that surrounded him. Nimble and light on his feet at 6-6 and 311 pounds, he showed his upside by shutting down LSU DE Sam Montgomery in their Nov. 3 showdown.

OG Tre' Jackson, Florida State
From a modestly recruited high school prospect to the All-ACC Second Team, Jackson is a rising young star among offensive linemen. He has picked up where he left off in the Champs Sports Bowl, his first career start, by locking down the right guard job. At 6-4 and 328 pounds, he's a mauler on running plays, yet still possesses the agility to get downfield and finish blocks on the second level. With O-line coach Rick Trickett overseeing his development, Jackson will have a chance to evolve into a next-level road-grader in the upcoming seasons.

C Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
Grasu has really come of age in his second season at the pivot for the Ducks. After playing in the shadows in 2011 as a redshirt freshman, he's taken on much more of a leadership role now that he's more firmly entrenched as one of the anchors of the program's front wall. As one of the veterans up front in Eugene, Grasu has set the tone at the line of scrimmage for an offense that averages more than 50 points per game. Named First Team All-Pac-12 this year, heady No. 55 will be competing for the Rimington Trophy in 2013 and 2014.

OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA
If there was any rust on Su'a-Filo, who spent 2010 and 2011 on a Mormon mission, opposing linemen sure couldn't tell. He picked up where he left off as a true freshman starter in 2009. Actually, he was far better, showing much more maturity and toughness at the point of attack than he did as a wide-eyed teen. The First Team All-Pac-12 guard is a skilled all-around blocker, with a particular penchant for blowing open holes on the ground. As the leading man of a very young line, Su'a-Filo was an irreplaceable cog for an offense that took a quantum leap in 2012.

OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
At 6-6 and 332 pounds, Richardson is obviously a massive presence up front. However, he's not just a masher who attempts to bully the guy into submission. He's become quite the technician as well, especially in pass protection. Richardson, as an example, drew the assignment of containing All-American DE Jadeveon Clowney, and held him in check on Oct. 27. Named to the AP All-SEC Second Team, he'll be watched very closely by NFL scouts over the second half of his career.

Second Team 

QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville

RB Adam Muema, San Diego State
RB Bishop Sankey, Washington

WR Austin Hill, Arizona
WR Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss

TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina

OT Cameron Fleming, Stanford
OG A.J. Cann, South Carolina
C B.J. Finney, Kansas State
OG La'el Collins, LSU
OT Daryl Williams, Oklahoma
Honorable Mention

QB: Blake Bortles (UCF), Shane Carden (East Carolina), Rakeem Cato (Marshall), Cody Fajardo (Nevada), Chuckie Keeton (Utah State), Taylor Kelly (Arizona State), Brett Smith (Wyoming), Bo Wallace (Ole Miss)

RB: Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska), Joe Bergeron (Texas), Jawon Chisolm (Akron), Trayion Durham (Kent State), Jahwan Edwards (Ball State), Jawan Jamison (Rutgers), Tre Mason (Auburn), Darrin Reaves (UAB), Anthon Samuel (Bowling Green), Lache Seastrunk (Baylor), De'Anthony Thomas (Oregon), Mark Weisman (Iowa), Kenny Williams (Texas Tech), Zach Zwinak (Penn State)

WR: Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU), Kenny Bell (Nebraska), Chris Boyd (Vanderbilt), Brandon Coleman (Rutgers), Brandin Cooks (Oregon State), Jamison Crowder (Duke), Andre Davis (South Florida), Devante Davis (UNLV), Titus Davis (Central Michigan), Philip Dorsett (Miami), William Dukes (Florida Atlantic), Austin Franklin (New Mexico State), Keyarris Garrett (Tulsa), Rashad Greene (Florida State), Justin Hardy (East Carolina), Jarvis Landry (LSU), Cody Latimer (Indiana), Jordan Leslie (UTEP), DeVante Parker (Louisville), Jaxon Shipley (Texas), Dawon Scott (Miami U.), Tommy Shuler (Marshall), Devin Smith (Ohio State), Willie Snead (Ball State), Josh Stewart (Oklahoma State), Bryan Underwood (NC State), Sammy Watkins (Clemson), Kasen Williams (Washington), Shane Wynn (Indiana)

TE: Jace Amaro (Texas Tech), Rory Anderson (South Carolina), Xavier Grimble (USC), Connor Hamlett (Oregon State), Colt Lyerla (Oregon), Jake McGee (Virginia), Jake Murphy (Utah), Nick O'Leary (Florida State), Richard Rodgers (Cal), Clive Walford (Miami)

OL: Troy Baker (Baylor), Mickey Baucus (Arizona), Josh Cochran (Texas), Dillon Day (Mississippi State), Miles Dieffenbach (Penn State), Reese Dismukes (Auburn), Fabbians Ebbele (Arizona), Cameron Erving (Florida State), Dominic Espinosa (Texas), Tayo Fabuluje TCU), Jonathan Feliciano (Miami), Jake Fisher (Oregon), Jarvis Harrison (Texas A&M), Rob Havenstein (Wisconsin), Kaleb Johnson (Rutgers), Daniel Koenig (Oklahoma State), Eric Lefeld (Cincinnati), Alexander Lewis (Colorado), Tyler Loos (Northern Illinois), Greg Mancz (Toledo), Aaron Morris (Ole Miss), Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M), Adam Sheard (Oklahoma), Jake Smith (Louisville), Quinton Spain (West Virginia), Brandon Vitabile (Northwestern)

- 2012 CFN Sophomore All-America Defense & Special Teams